To the editor:

It was inevitable. For the past four years, Republican officials and leaders have either dismissed or deflected former President Donald Trump's outrageous fabrications and divisive falsehoods. They would shrug off Trump’s demonstrable lies by saying, “It’s just Trump being Trump, no harm there, ” implying that Democrats were hysterical in their objections to the deluge of deceptions.

But on Jan. 6, the GOP leaders were proven fatally wrong. The GOP cowardice in failing to stand for truth nurtured The Big Lie, resulting in the U.S. Capitol insurrection that we all watched in horrifying real time, an unprecedented, premeditated assault on American democracy. Stunned, even the Republican leaders couldn't dodge the truth, fully admitting that Mr. Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric caused the insurrection.

But they quickly regrouped to rally around not the flag, but in support of their Leader, Donald Trump. The misinformation began anew, this time ending with a filibuster of the bipartisan effort to investigate the historic assault on a Constitutional process: The certification of a free and fair election.

Now, We the People need to know exactly and truthfully what happened on Jan. 6 so that may never happen again. Sadly, Rep. Jim Banks clearly doesn’t seem to care. He, like a majority of the Republican Party, wants us to forget what our own eyes saw. He wants you to believe that it all was, as Republican Paul Gosar said, “peaceful patriots” on a “normal tourist visit” who just happened to attack, vandalize, loot, destroy, and kill while there.

Mr. Banks, by voting against forming the Jan. 6 Commission, wants to hide the truth. He’d rather we believe lies. We deserve the truth. We deserve justice. Together we can choose better.

Mike Travis

Vice Chair Steuben County Democratic Party

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